March sees the celebration days of two saints; Dewi Sant (St David) and Sen Peran (St Piran). Most of us are familiar with the stories of St David but what about St Piran? Here's a bit of his history and a chance to impress with your knowledge on your next holiday to Cornwall.
St. Piran is said to have come to Cornwall from Ireland and is generally assumed to be St.Ciarán of Saighir who founded a monastery in County Offaly . The5th of March is the traditional feast day of both St Ciarán of Saighir and St Piran.
Like many religious figures of the period, St. Piran seems to have had a strange and eventful life.
The local Irish people who seemed not to be too happy with Piran's religious views tied him to a millstone and threw it off a cliff into the sea. The sea calmed, and the saint floated away to land on a beach at Perranzabuloe in Kernow (Cornwall). His first followers were a fox, a bear and a badger.
He lived a simple, charitable life and attracted many followers and with them, he founded an abbey at Lanpiran (which basically means the religious place of St. Piran).
It is said that St. Piran rediscovered tin smelting by accident when his hearthstone started leaking molten metal in the shape of a cross. The flag of Kernow (Cornwall) represents the white metal cross on the black hearthstone.
Today, St Piran's Day is very popular in Cornwall with lots of events which also celebrate the resurgence of the Cornish language, Kernewek. The biggest event is a community walk to St Piran's cross with many people attending dressed in black, white and gold, and carrying the Cornish flag. A play of the Life of St Piran, in Cornish, has been enacted since 2000 at the event. Daffodils are also carried and placed at the cross. Daffodils also feature in celebrations inTruro.
So on the pympes Mis Meurth( 5th of march), you can celebrate Sen Peran with a little Kernoweg. Click here to learn what Kernoweg the Cornish language sounds like and try it out for yourselves.
Dydh Sen Peran lowen!